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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 10-21-2011, 12:26 AM   #1
kwy
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4-point racing harness legality

Hi there. I've done a search in the police forum as well as google on this topic, but keep finding conflicting/unreliable information.

Are 4-point racing harnesses legal on a street car in BC? Also, are aftermarket bucket seats legal?

Thanks.
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Last edited by kwy; 10-21-2011 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
British Columbia - Motor Vehicle Act - Regulations

Division 7 - Other Equipment

Safety belts
7.13 (1) In this section "safety belt" means a single occupancy safety seat belt for use in a motor vehicle.

(2) The manufacturer of a safety belt assembly shall not sell the assembly or offer it for sale unless:
(a) it conforms to the standard of performance for safety belt assemblies made by the Society of Automotive Engineers or the Canadian Standards Association, and
(b) it bears an identifying mark showing compliance with the standard of performance for safety belt assemblies made by the Society of Automotive Engineers or the Canadian Standards Association, as the case may be.

(3) No person shall sell or offer for sale a safety belt assembly unless the assembly bears an identifying mark as required in subsection (2) (b).
[en. B.C. Reg. 33/64, s. 7.]
The seatbelt or harness should be SAE certified.

There is no section regarding the seat, specifically, or any requirement for it to be SAE or DOT, etc.

Let me warn you though: It may look cool to put racing harnesses and a racing bucket in your car, and you may like the way it feels, but it is NOT safer. Safety Systems are designed to work AS A SYSTEM, meaning they work well TOGETHER, but not INDIVIDUALLY.

Race cars use racing buckets and harnesses in conjunction with a ROLL CAGE (or at least a roll bar) because if you are sitting in a bucket with harnesses, and no extra roll protection, if you go upside down, and the roof crushes in (and it will) you will NOT be able to move your body sideways to avoid getting crushed (the harness and seat will keep you forced upright) Whereas in a convential seat and seatbelt, you can still move your body laterally and get out of the way.

So you think, ok, I'll put a rollbar or rollcage in my street car so that I can run a racing seat and buckets. Well now the problem is that you have several hard tubes surrounding your body and head - so really you should be wearing a helmet to protect your head from getting smacked into the cage or roll bar. You can't drive around town in a helmet.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:56 PM   #3
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Moreover, when you mention a 4-point racing harness, that's a little scary to me. If you are doing the kind of driving that you'd want to use a harness, you should invest in AT LEAST a 5-point harness to keep from sliding under the harnesses, and, if you value your nuts, a 6-point to keep them from getting squashed.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:00 PM   #4
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Thank you for the thorough answer, Rich Sandor. I figured the racing harness set up would cause issues legality wise, if not safety wise.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:17 PM   #5
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I had racing buckets and harnesses in one of my cars for a while. It was kind of a fun novelty factor to have them. It made sense to me at the time, because I was doing either an autocross or track day or both every month, and I would just use the racing seat with the regular belts when I was driving around town, and then use the harnesses when I'm at the track. It was fun for a while but it's a PAIN IN THE BUTT to get in and out of a Bucket Seat every day.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:20 PM   #6
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So you hooked up a racing harness but also kept the stock belt? Have you heard of the police giving anyone trouble for harnesses?
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:48 PM   #7
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It's one of those things that isn't really addressed by the motor vehicle act. If an officer thinks the harnesses are not safely installed or there is something wrong with them, the officer may issue a VI (inspection ticket) and let a certified inspector make the decision. If the officer is SURE it's unsafe (poorly installed, doesn't work with the seats, etc) they may need to take some time to find the appropriate section in the MVA and then issue a VI and have the vehicle TOWED.

I personally have never had an issue nor have any of my MANY friends who track their cars and have harnesses installed. Again, many of us run the regular OEM belts on the street and only use the harness at the track.

I think the key is to drive responsibly, attract as little negative police attention as possible, and you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:35 PM   #8
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You and your friends installed the harnesses with a rollbar? I've heard of people bolting up the harness to the floor, without the use of a bar or cage. I'm guessing this is unsafe and a possible legal issue?

Thanks for your time.
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:55 AM   #9
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The upper harnesses need a guide which is at or above your shoulder level. If you have a racing seat, with harness holes that are below your shoulder, when you tighten the belts, they will actually push down on your body, compressing your spine. The shoulder harnesses should pull you backwards into the seat, not push you down to the floor. A harness bar, roll bar, or roll cage, would prevent that from happening.

I use the OEM seat belt mount locations for my lower lap harness, as they are the strongest. I've drilled holes and installed plate steel backing plates for the submarine belts, and used the horizontal section of the cage for the shoulder belts. (As per the CACC/FIA/SCCA rulebooks)
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